New answers tagged metering
The SB-700 has a "distance priority manual mode" (GN on the mode switch) that lets you configure the distance to the subject and have the flash power set based on that. It's still manual in the sense that you control exactly what results you get, but will assist you with some of the maths involved.
With manual flash and camera in manual mode, I think you already hit on one method of "metering" ... trial and error. Take a picture, chimp, adjust. Repeat until lighting is what you want. The other way is to use a handheld light meter.
When using regulable flashes or countinuous lamps, the lightmeter does not tell the photographer what aperture to use, instead it tells which aperture the current lighting is set up for. The photographer first decides what aperture to use, a suitable ISO and exposure time. The meter is then used to find a flash or lamp setting that is good for the aperture ...
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